The European Union's chemical regulation, called Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals(REACH) has generated great concern within the Korea chemical industry because it will impose new, more stringent regulations on all chemicals, in ...
The European Union's chemical regulation, called Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals(REACH) has generated great concern within the Korea chemical industry because it will impose new, more stringent regulations on all chemicals, including imported products, used in the European Union. The REACH proposal arose from a growing concern about the unknown effects of chemical use. For example, it has been shown that toxic chemicals present in common products, while not causing immediate detriment to users, do accumulate in the bodies of humans and animals. The consequences of this accumulation are not known. REACH is intended to close this knowledge gap. The main goals of the program, as outlined by the European Commission, include protection of human health and the environment, maintenance and enhancement of the competitiveness of the E.U. chemical industry, improved risk assessment, integration with international efforts, and conformity with WTO obligations. The regulation was proposed in October 2003 and passed a first reading in the European Parliament on November 17, 2005. The European Council reached a political agreement on December 13, 2005, and final approval of the regulation is expected by early 2007. The fight over the REACH regulation highlights a number of recurring conflicts in international environmental law. The REACH demonstrates the potential conflict of environmental policies with the maintenance of liberal trade policies. One country's environmental policies may have an effect far beyond its borders, and increasing economic globalization, coupled with increasing environmental regulation, has led to a greater number of international disputes based on the actual and perceived use of unilateral environmental regulations as non-tariff trade barriers. The REACH controversy must be considered under the obligations established by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO.
The Article begins with a review of EU's environmental policy in Part I, followed by a brief review of the history of the European Union's environmental regulation in Part II. The REACH program is summarized in Part III and will be analysed in the point of international trade law. It also considers the REACH program under the requirements of the applicable WTO agreements and in light of past WTO adjudications.
This report considers the EU's environmental policy and law, and then how can our company deal with following trade barrier.